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Chapter 2

Chapter 2- North Africa--Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia.pdf

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McGill University
Political Science
POLI 340
Rex Brynen

Egypt played leading role in Arab politics 50s and 60s pan-Arabism Nasser December 17, 2010 Tunisian Mohmed Bouazizi set himself on fire set off escalating series of antigovernment demonstrations January 14, 2011 President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali fled Tunisia to S.Arabia wave of antiauthoritarian mobilization sharing of pictures and videos on social networking Egyptians occupied Tahrir Square (January 25) ouster of Pres. 2 weeks later Libya popular uprising against Qaddafi regime civil war anti-regime protests in Yemen, Bahrain, Syria Tunisia was least likely originally to revolt Tunisia independence 1956 only two pol. leaders since Habib Bourguiba leader of anti-colonial Neo-Destour party president 1957 Ben Ali leads soft coup against Bourguiba president 1987 Bourguiba FP toward the West domestically saw himself as agent of secular modernization and social development weaken power-base of traditional rural and Islamic social forces and institutions access to education and launching some social reforms left considerable spacer for private sector development little space for other formally organized pol. actors Ben Ali power at a time of growing labour unrest Islamist opposition was emerging strengthening the coercive apparatus of the state co-opting other groups clamping down on moderate Islamist party Ennahda liberal economic policies eco. growth quite impressive GDP UP around 5% a year growing perceptions in the country that with such growth had come increased social inequality many of the primary beneficiaries of eco. growth and privatization were increasingly found among crony capitalists close to Pres.. petty corruption very conspicuous consumption by the regime's elite combination of single-party institutional legacies, facade multipartyism and patronage-based eco. privatization help persistence of authoritarianism BUT perception of eco. inequality, corruption and cronyism and absence of pol. voice were central elements in social discontent initial reaction of security forces to suppress demonstrations proved difficult growing numbers of demonstrators protests spreading Pres. stakes steps to increase employment, but also condemns acts committed by hooded gangs attacking public institutions at night then promises to leave power in 3 years exiled January 14th caretaker government under PM Ghannouchi with Mebazaa as President new cabinet criticized for including RCD members protests force them to quit party ordered to dissolve by courts new PM Essebsi 2011 tasked with revisiting constitution smooth elections to constituent assembly Oct. 2011 Ennahda won largest share of vote new constitution tensions over the boundaries of acceptable public discourse socioeconomic conditions continued to generate grievances revolution deterred both investment and tourism Egypt emerged from Br. rule as const. monarchy imperfect yet functioning parl. problematic yet competitive elections 1952 King Farouk overthrown Free Officers, led by Nasser nationalists who condemned the corruption and inequalities of old regime moved to ban all pol. parties 50s and 60s Egypt regional champion of Arab nationalism Nasser dead 1970 VP Sadat takes power peace deal with Israel 1979 reorients Egypt's FP towards Washington degree of economic liberalization establishment of multiparty system National Democratic Party repeatedly "won" elections allowed MB to gradually reemerge as a social movement Sadat assassinated by Islamist radicals 1981 VP Mubarak takes power Mubarak continued most of Sadat's policies close ties with US economic reform and privatization multiparty elections continued overwhelming victories for NDP internal challenges radical Islamist violence periodic labour unrest judicial criticism of electoral irregularities 2004 Kefaya protest movement 2005 opposition figure Ayman Nour permitted to run less than 23% of ppl voted Mubarak won Nour was imprisoned 2005 somewhat freer parl. elections MB won most of its races regime and ruling NDP did their best to stymie MB's parl. delegation substantial vote-rigging to undercut MB growing speculation as to successor…Mubarak's son Gamal? or longtime army friend Suleiman? high unemployment significant increases in food prices Khaled Mohamed Said beaten to death by police June 2010 video goes viral January 25, 2011 occupy Tahrir Square becomes rallying point for opp. broad cross-section of society (urban youth mostly) role of army became critical reluctant to use extensive force police, Central Security Force, State Security intelligence and NDP were primary tools of repression February 1 Mubarak makes speech pledging pol. reform and not to run again protests increase Washington pressing him to step aside February 10 address refused to step down February 11 Suleiman announces Mubarak is leaving power, to be replaced by military common until elections could happen MB emerged as best-organized political force favoured quick transition NDP forced to dissolve by judicial order August 2011 Mubarak and sons placed on trial SCAF makes it easier to nominate pres. candidates, revise eligibility, limits pres. ability to declare state of emergency, limits on pres. terms, and mandate elected parl. to make committee for new constitution over half of const. committee were Islamists SCAF limits power of future Pres. June 2012 Morsi elected establishment of a stable constitutional and pol. process may take years negative effects on business and investment event as citizens' demands for improvements in life are increasing Libya impossible to separate four decades of Libyan politics from the rule of Qaddafi seized power in coup 1969 self-proclaimed "state of the masses" pyramidal system of "people's congresses" provide Athenian model of direct democracy in practice, rap power lay with security services, bureaucratic administration and Qaddafi himself pol. parties prohibited, NGO numbers limited pol. and admin. were dependent on the whims of Qaddafi 80s and 90s rise of an Islamist opposition Libyan Islamic Fighting Group LIFG effectively suppressed oil wealth 95% of exports, 25
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